KEEPING WATCH is a three-year initiative designed to foster collaboration across disciplines and interest groups – working with artists, historians, writers, scientists and environmental groups – to engage, inform and inspire the public about better protecting our environment.

By creating a network among a variety of projects going on around these topics, we will engage the public in multiple ways, targeting multiple audiences: through visual arts, public exhibitions, online multimedia presentations, public events and community engagement.

Photo by Nancy Pierce

Programming for spring 2015 will be a multimedia, multidisciplinary series of art and photo exhibits, online publication (at PlanCharlotte.org) and public events such as neighborhood gatherings, lectures and public discussions.

The story of our creeks is the story of Charlotte. Charlotte is where and what it is today because of our streams, which provided drinking water and power for early mills. But for too long, the city’s creeks were treated as nuisances, even used as open sewers.

Artist Joyce Dallal’s “The Other Toy Story” is a 10-foot plastic baby. During the March 28 opening reception guests may “feed” the baby with plastic toys. Photo courtesy of Joyce Dallal. Smaller "babies" will be installed at Discovery Place and elsewhere in town.

Sustain Me Baby: art exhibit March 28-June 26 at Projective Eye Gallery, UNC Charlotte Center City. Is This Yours: art installations March 28-June 26, calling attention to plastics waste, to be placed around Charlotte, from local artists Kurt Warnke and Nancy Pierce.

Discarded plastic bottles and other debris are common along waterways in the Charlotte region, such as here, near the Catawba River. Photo: Nancy Pierce

Want to know more about why plastics are a concern? What can you recycle in Charlotte and elsewhere in Mecklenburg County? And why can't we recycle No. 6 plastic? How do Charlotte and the United States compare to other countries?

Photo by Nancy Pierce
Materials and events this year will focus on regional air issues and the importance of the area’s treasured tree canopy. The cleanliness of air is a mystery to many people, since many pollutants are mostly invisible, even microscopic. Since 2004, Mecklenburg and seven surrounding counties have been in violation of the national ozone standards. Would people act differently if they knew the risks? We will make visible this invisible problem.

Recycling, trees spotlighted in Nov. events

Metrolina Recycling Center gets 60,000 tons of recyclables a year.

Mecklenburg County's recycling center processes about 60,000 tons of recyclables a year. Photo: Nancy Pierce

A Friday “sustainability fair” in uptown Charlotte will mark the city’s participation in America Recycles Day. The event will be 10 a.m.-3 p.m.  at The Square (Trade and Tryon steets).